Student Perspectives of Teaching (SPOT)

Collect feedback that counts

Student Perspectives of Teaching (SPOT) gathers feedback from classes to help instructors, departments and faculties improve curriculum and instruction. The collection of SPOT is regulated by University of Alberta Policies and Procedures (UAPPOL). The current version of this policy may be viewed on the Teaching, Learning and Evaluation Policy page.

When do Student Perspectives of Teaching (SPOT) occur?

Generally, access to the SPOT survey along with any supplemental instructor and/or department/faculty questions will normally be available from two weeks before the last day of classes until two days past the last day of classes, providing there are no final examinations scheduled in this two-day period.

What is the SPOT process?

Step 1: Prior to the start of the feedback period, instructors will receive an email announcement with further information and important dates for the rating period.

Step 2: Once they have received the announcement, instructors should notify students that they will be receiving an email with instructions and encourage participation.

Step 3: When the SPOT surveys become available, students will receive an email with instructions and appropriate links to complete their feedback.

Step 4: During the time the SPOT surveys are available, instructors will receive a helpful reminder from Test Scoring and Questionnaire Services (TSQS) to encourage student participation showing instructions to check response rates.

Step 5: If students have not yet completed their SPOT surveys, they will receive reminders via email.

Step 6: Once the SPOT surveys are complete and grades are finalized, instructors will be able to view results online through the SPOT Survey Report.

When will instructors receive their SPOT results?

Instructors will receive the SPOT results within 20 working days after the course is completed, and once the dean, director or chair has signed the grade sheet.

How can instructors check response rates during the SPOT period?

During the SPOT period, instructors can log into the SPOT system for a status overview and the current response rates for your courses.

Where can instructors find SPOT Instructor results?

When your course grades are finalized, numerical reports, domain summaries and commentary reports can be accessed at:  SPOT Survey Report

  1. Log in with your CCID and password.
  2. Under the "Reporting" navigation, select "My Reports".

Please note if your class has less than 10 students, only the commentary report will be available.

Are SPOT results made public?

The results of SPOT are available as outlined in the table in section 15 of the  Student Input to the Evaluation of Teaching and Learning Procedure.

Login to Search for SPOT Results

What does the SPOT report consist of?

A one-page report is generated for each class from which the SPOT survey data have been collected. The Instructor Report contains the questions on the questionnaire followed by the number of students who responded to the scale of I strongly disagree (SD), I disagree, I neither agree nor disagree, I agree, I strongly agree (SA).

What does the SPOT instrument look like?

What provisions are made for student anonymity in the SPOT system and process?

The Teaching, Learning and Evaluation Policy states the importance of student anonymity in completing course and instructor survey questions. Free expression of views in the ratings is essential so long as the safety of the members of the university community is upheld. The following measures ensure anonymity in the process:

  1. The survey administrator cannot identify the student through the survey tools unless the student self-identifies.
  2. The survey tools are truly anonymous.
  3. Student IDs/usernames do not get tagged on the survey results.
  4. Students must log in for verification that they have taken, partially taken, or not taken any surveys. Again, answers to survey questions are completely separate from this verification.
  5. Circumstances that warrant overriding anonymity are spelled out in the Teaching, Learning and Evaluation Policy, Section 8. Threats to the safety or well-being of members of the university community will not be tolerated and will result in action to identify the author of the statements.

How can instructors customize their SPOT questionnaire?

SPOT surveys are generated using the Instructor Designed Questionnaire (IDQ). This system allows for the inclusion of items relevant to the individual instructor, university, faculty and department and allows for normative as well as individualized feedback on the quality of instruction. Please visit Instructor Designed Questionnaire (IDQ) System to obtain more information about the IDQ system..

Do SPOT surveys support collecting feedback if there are multiple instructors for a course, as in the case of team-teaching?

Yes. In a case such as this, SPOT surveys can be configured to provide numerical and open-ended questions that repeat for each instructor. The questionnaire is arranged such that the questions that apply to the overall course appear first. These are followed by questions that apply to the instructor, repeated for each instructor involved in the course.

When results are compiled and ready for viewing, each instructor will receive the questions that apply to the overall course and their individual results. This method eliminates the need of having separate questionnaires generated for each instructor in a team-taught class in order to achieve confidentiality among instructors.

Who should instructors contact if information on the SPOT survey email announcement is incorrect?

If any information appears incorrect on the email announcement such as instructor name, course information, etc. or if a course has been cancelled or is missing, please contact TSQS as soon as possible by phone at 780-492-2741 or by email at  test.scoring@ualberta.

What should instructors do if they have problems logging into the SPOT system?

Instructors having difficulty logging into the rating system should try the following:

If problems persist, please contact the Staff Service Centre.


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